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Cross Waves #1: “Room Tone” Curated by Chantal Dumas (2014)
The Room Tone (the ambient sound of a room) is the sound color of a place, which occurs when all activity ceases. But a place in a silent state is never silent. The sound continues to live in different registers and intensities, even at its minimum state and the Room Tone will vary depending on the time of day or night. And if a human being is in this silent space and his brain activity vibrates at the rhythm of the space, can we really be sure that the sum of the interior spaces (mental) and exterior (the place) is the zero state of silence?? Or could it be subject to some periods of disruption? — Chantal Dumas
Cross Waves #2: “Nothing (Repeated)” Curated by Steve Bates (2014)
From 10 November 2012, 22:00 to 10 November 2013, 22:00 on 88.0 FM from the radiating point of 45º 31’ 49.7186” N / 73º 36’ 23.8114” W (position error +/- 213’), a signal of 25mW broadcast silence was transmitted.
This broadcast was in the form of a community service to quieten the FM radio band at this frequency for a period of one year. At present, a naturally occurring broadband noise has returned, saturating this frequency. It is unclear, at this point in time, what the concrete benefits of this action were other than a quieter FM band. We can only imagine some of the outcomes.
Nothing (Repeated) carries on with this impulse of quieting the FM dial with the work of a group of Canadian artists invited to consider the reduced, the silence, the hyper-quiet, the voided and open spaces. These artists include crys cole, Peter Courtemanche, Christof Migone, Douglas Moffat, jake moore, and Erin Sexton. A live performance by Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt is also part of this program.
Nothing (Repeated) opens with a discussion by curator, Steve Bates, into the motivations to broadcast such a reduced space. Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt performs Sappho (now again), a new work inspired by the lyric poetry of Sappho, and the blank spaces left in the historical ledger.
Cross Waves #3: “Radio with Everything at Hand: the early years of 24 Hours of Radio/ART, 1992 – 1996” Curated by Peter Courtemanche (Absolute Value of Noise) (2015)
“24 Hours of Radio/ART” began in the summer of 1992 during the Canadian National Campus and Community Radio Conference held in Vancouver. The idea was to produce a twenty-four-hour radio art event – a radio station that was completely devoted to live creative work and experimental audio art. In effect, we asked the question: “What would happen if your local pop-radio station suddenly changed to an all audio-art format?”
“Radio with Everything at Hand” takes a look at the first four years of this event – an event that continues to this day, happening every year on January 17th on CITR FM, the campus radio station at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The DJs and artists involved with the early editions of “24 Hours” used voice, turntables, CDs, cassettes, DAT, reel-to-reel tape loops, electronic instruments, samples from TV and cinema, scrap metal, oil drums, and field recordings to create massively layered walls of noise and more subtly layered waves of ambience. This episode of Cross Waves will explore this history through commentary and excerpts form the original radio shows.
Cross Waves #4: “DISTANT TRANSMISSION: Story and Sound from the North” curated by Janna Graham
Distant Transmission is an eclectic program of sound, stories and radio transmissions from northern Canada. Rather than exploring one particular theme, the selected pieces seem to articulate a sense of nordicity.
Nordicity is a wide concept developed in Canada from the 1960s that refers to the perceived, real or even imagined condition of high-latitude regions. It deals with a large variety of issues taken from both the natural and the human world that may lead to the combined understanding of facts, ideas and interventions of these northern lands.
Cross Waves #5: “Ditto” curated by Christof Migone
Cross Waves #5 curated by Christof Migone is comprised of the program of works listed below:
I. This is a sentence by Micah Lexier (00:54) (2010)
II. You will live by Pierre Andre Arcand (8:55) (1985)
III. …for bodies near the surface of the earth by Ryan Park (78:00) (2009)
IV. Plongeurs by Diane Landry (40:06) (2007)
V. I Really Should by Kelly Mark (49:16) (2002)
VI. Breathing Room by Hildegard Westerkamp (3:03) (1990)
VII. I fall to pieces by Kim Dawn (1:26) (1996-1999)
VIII. Talking to a Loudspeaker by Dan Lander (24:29) (1988-90)
IX. Get Out Of My Head, Get Out Of My Mind by Charles Stankievech (5:21) (2008)
Cross Waves #6: “Material Sounds” curated by Anna Friz
Things and devices are neither wholly mastered by human will nor illuminated solely by human attention, but can be understood to possess a liveliness of their own. This series of Canadian artists was chosen by Anna Friz for their interest in the materiality of soundmaking, and their commitment to the notion of distributed agency among ensembles of people and things, highlighted through their attention to trailing edge media and re-purposing of everyday objects. Engaging with mass produced alarm clocks, old vinyl, lamps, radiators, or specialized antennae, these artists collaborate with devices and unstable systems to create unique, critical sound environments. The program is hosted and produced by Anna Friz.
Cross Waves #7: “Top Songs” curated by Eleanor King
Cross Waves #7 is entitled Top Songs and is hosted by its curator Eleanor King. The program features artists who consider the musical form of the pop song as a point of departure. This diverse group of works investigates sound art and musicality through many lenses. Some works remix existing pop-culture styles or borrow structures from popular musical conventions. Others use music as their “raw” material: they re-arrange appropriated lyrics or musical phrases, or morph entire existing songs into new forms. Some composers identify as both musician and artist, while others present their work as academic scholarship. The works in this program carry on from lineages of contemporary music; from rock to rap, lullabies to show-tunes, blast beats to noise, EDM to meditative ambience. Top Songs do not fit tightly into any categorization. These artists cross-breed artistic forms to create new spaces for listening.
Cross Waves #8: “Noodaagun. Beacons.” curated by Jason Ryle
As societies based on orality, Indigenous cultures have an intricate and special connection to sound itself. Histories, teachings, stories, and information transmitted from mouth to ear, from ear to heart and mind…and to action. The spirit of Indigenous sound waves – Noodaagun in the Anishinabe language – are explored in this collection of works created by Indigenous artists from across Canada. We are surrounded by Indigenous sound waves and this land has been bathed in the sounds of Indigenous people for millennia. With the recent cultural and artistic renaissance of Indigenous media arts, Indigenous artists working in audio are creating sonic embodiments of their experiences and representations of their culture; aural beacons that invite you to listen and share in the legacy of this land.